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12-year-old builds working nuclear reactor

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Gary Meadows

The words trial and error, and nuclear reactor, shouldn't go together. 

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EnderOTD

So has he had an offer to attend MIT yet? That�s quite the accomplishment for someone at 13.

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Pka

While I admire the young guy on his inquisition,  I agree with previous poster,   "Daily trial and error with small nuclear reactor experiment is dangerous to him and around him"

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'Walt' E. Kurtz

Splendid 

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EnderOTD

No you�re correct, it is pretty frightening to think that one of these things could be being built in the tool shed next door.

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fred_mc

Hmmm, this can't be right, building a fusion reactor at home. Scientists are still struggling with building a fusion reactor and they might succeed in 50 years or so, it requires temperatures of millions of degrees. A fission reactor, on the other hand, is something you can build at home, using fire detectors and other stuff. It is illegal to do so though, I read about one guy who wrote about his progress on an Internet forum, he was arrested.

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EnderOTD

Fusion reactors are possible right now, it’s just finding out how to get more energy output(heat) than electricity(fuel) needed to create the reaction required to create the plasma, or something lol.  Like you said, containing plasma that is as hot as the sun is a problem as well.  If the sun can do it, so can we, or something.  If I’m wrong about that, I wouldn’t be surprised and will show no shame, and learn from whoever puts me in my place

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FlyingAngel

Although impressive, the word "nuclear" is not a toy to play with and with a limited knowledge

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freetoroam
Quote

His dad, Chris Oswalt, admits that he had only a limited understanding of what his son was building.

Did he not see all that equipment coming through the house and tjink "whats he up to?" 

Not really the sort of thing to be doing in the spare room, but i guess they have house insurance...and life insurance.

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aztek

that is not real nuclear reactor, he put together radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG, RITEG), from parts sold on ebay, this is not new, soviets had thousands build, in 60s-80s, for use in remote areas of Siberia. you can still  find them there, once the fuel is spent they are thrown away.  pretty much every polar expedition brought few with them. they were also installed at many relay stations.  those are not dangerous as real nuclear reactor, not even close, especially since fuel capsule is sealed.

 

Edited by aztek
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HermeticLabyrinthos

Awesome post thank you

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bison
11 hours ago, EnderOTD said:

Fusion reactors are possible right now, it’s just finding out how to get more energy output(heat) than electricity(fuel) needed to create the reaction required to create the plasma, or something lol.  Like you said, containing plasma that is as hot as the sun is a problem as well.  If the sun can do it, so can we, or something.  If I’m wrong about that, I wouldn’t be surprised and will show no shame, and learn from whoever puts me in my place

Quite right! Fusion reactors, like the one this young man built, are based on one designed and built by Philo T. Farnsworth, pioneer television inventor, some years ago. These have even been commercially developed as a neutron source for scientific research and for creating isotopes used in medicine.

The problem, as you say, is that they use more energy than they produce. In their present form they could not be used to generate power.

Modified designs that use the same method-- called electrostatic inertial confinement-- seem to promise greater efficiency, possibly to the point of net energy production, eventually. 

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sepulchrave

Just to add, the very first image in the Wikipedia entry on the Farnsworth Fusor is a reactor that was also built by a (slightly older) kid.

So, Oswalt's work is still impressive, but he isn't the first kid to do it.

It is also not so dangerous (as others have pointed out). Possibly lots of opportunities for Oswalt to electrocute himself while building it, but it is impossible to nuke the neighbourhood or release clouds of radioactive, etc.

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EnderOTD
11 hours ago, bison said:

Quite right! Fusion reactors, like the one this young man built, are based on one designed and built by Philo T. Farnsworth, pioneer television inventor, some years ago. These have even been commercially developed as a neutron source for scientific research and for creating isotopes used in medicine.

The problem, as you say, is that they use more energy than they produce. In their present form they could not be used to generate power.

Modified designs that use the same method-- called electrostatic inertial confinement-- seem to promise greater efficiency, possibly to the point of net energy production, eventually. 

*wipes sweat from brow*

 

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Rolci

If you thought he was a genius, then what about Ukrainian schoolboy Samuil Kruhliak who invented a way of producing electricity from the atmosphere at $1.40 / MEGAwatt back in 2015?
http://day.kyiv.ua/en/article/economy/one-kilowatt-003-hryvnias
I have been looking for developments on that project for all these years since and thought he was shut down too but now I found the latest:
https://www.slavorum.org/young-ukrainian-genius-found-a-way-to-produce-electricity-from-the-wind-and-no-its-not-windmills/
Why isn't that news around here?

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lightly

Wait...there was a house there ! ?

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bison
On 2/24/2019 at 5:02 AM, Rolci said:

If you thought he was a genius, then what about Ukrainian schoolboy Samuil Kruhliak who invented a way of producing electricity from the atmosphere at $1.40 / MEGAwatt back in 2015?
http://day.kyiv.ua/en/article/economy/one-kilowatt-003-hryvnias
I have been looking for developments on that project for all these years since and thought he was shut down too but now I found the latest:
https://www.slavorum.org/young-ukrainian-genius-found-a-way-to-produce-electricity-from-the-wind-and-no-its-not-windmills/
Why isn't that news around here?

Most of the accounts of Samuil Kruhliak's idea for energy extraction from the atmosphere date from 2015, when he won a science competition, and a full university scholarship in the United States. He proposes to extract electrical energy from the the skies; the same electricity that is responsible for lightning 

The only more recent report is supposed to be three months old. It is linked below. It reports that a working laboratory model of his proposed system has been built. It is proposed that a disused factory smoke stack be used to create a full scale version of his device. Any delay in doing so seems tied to a difficulty in securing the needed financial backing. 

https://www.slavorum.org/young-ukrainian-genius-found-a-way-to-produce-electricity-from-the-wind-and-no-its-not-windmills/

Edited by bison

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and then
On 2/22/2019 at 4:17 PM, EnderOTD said:

So has he had an offer to attend MIT yet? That�s quite the accomplishment for someone at 13.

Yeah, yeah... but can he sing and dance?  :w00t:  Seriously though, I wonder what the practical applications are for his amazing accomplishment?

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danydandan
On 22/2/2019 at 9:12 PM, Gary Meadows said:

The words trial and error, and nuclear reactor, shouldn't go together. 

It's an RTG so not much danger involved, thankfully. 

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aztek
On 2/24/2019 at 8:02 AM, Rolci said:

If you thought he was a genius, then what about Ukrainian schoolboy Samuil Kruhliak who invented a way of producing electricity from the atmosphere at $1.40 / MEGAwatt back in 2015?
http://day.kyiv.ua/en/article/economy/one-kilowatt-003-hryvnias
I have been looking for developments on that project for all these years since and thought he was shut down too but now I found the latest:
https://www.slavorum.org/young-ukrainian-genius-found-a-way-to-produce-electricity-from-the-wind-and-no-its-not-windmills/
Why isn't that news around here?

because old theories do not get as much attention as built and running device.

Samuel's device is basically lord kelvins water drop generator. it is very inefficient, you wont get much power out of it. maybe that is why we do not have it in use. 

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